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From here to eternity and home again

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By Rev. James Snyder

As far as I am concerned, traveling is a necessary evil. I suppose if I am going to choose some evil, traveling is as good an evil as anything is. Although I would much rather stay home and get my work done, I need to do some traveling.

My favorite mode of traveling is the airplane. I just get to my seat, buckle up and let somebody else do the driving ... or the flying as the case may be. I do not have to worry about the route or making some wrong turn. Everything is done for me.

My least favorite mode of traveling is by car, especially when I am traveling by myself. Sure, there is the radio but it cannot give me instructions as to which exit I need to get off.

So, if I find the need to travel via car, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is many times my copilot. Now, when I say copilot, I mean she tells me where to go, of which she is quite adept, having all that experience.

While we are driving, she will shout out her commands.

“Do you know where you’re going?”

“Isn’t that our turn?”

“Shouldn’t you have turned back there?”

“Why are we going this way?”

I must confess that with her vigorous interrogation we always arrive at our destination.

If my wife would not travel with me, I would never know when I was lost. Actually, I do not get lost – I merely involuntarily take the scenic route. I am a firm believer in everything having a purpose. And when I involuntarily take the scenic route, I explain my doctrine of the ultimate purpose of all things.

She merely rolls her eyes upward and sighs deeply.

I often remind her, “Look what we would have missed if I never took that route.” To which she replies, “Yes, I know.” I am not quite sure she is as appreciative of the scenic view as I would like.

Recently, I had to take a car trip and leave my wife at home. Navigating on my own brought certain reservations to my mind. When I rented the car, they asked me if I wanted a GPS. I did not quite know what it was but they explained to me that a GPS was simply a global positioning satellite that would help me find my way during my traveling.

Therefore, I elected to use the GPS.

It was a little difficult to switch from the GMP (Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage) to a GPS (global positioning satellite).

I was accustomed to the GMP, which has served me quite faithfully for many years.

After a little instruction from the car rental personnel, I was on my way. The GPS is quite simple to use. You simply tell it where you want to go and leave the rest to them. Actually, it is not a “them,” but rather a “she.” And this is what gave me a little bit of hesitation.

I do not mind the GMP telling me what to do and where to go, but for a GPS to do the same was a wee bit unnerving for Yours Truly. At first, it felt like I was cheating on my wife.

As soon as I got in my car and started down the road a very soft feminine, if not sultry, voice began telling me where to go. For a moment, I wondered why they use a woman’s voice and then it occurred to me that husbands are wired to obey the female voice.

It did not take me long to acclimate myself to the GPS scenario. I discovered a few things about this technological gadget.

It knows exactly where I am. I don’t know how this works. I don’t know why this little box sitting on my dashboard knows where I am no matter what kind of the day it is. It simply knows.

It always warns me of the upcoming turn whether it is right or left. How it knows this is beyond my calculations. But in good time, before the turn comes, my GPS friend tells me which way to turn, thus avoiding missing an exit.

One of the most amazing things I discovered about this contraption is, whenever I make a mistake, which I must confess is often, it always “recalculates” and guides me back to where I need to be. It is especially programmed to deal with mistakes. Whoever came up with this apparatus worked on the basic assumption that people will make a mistake while driving. They must have consulted a lot of wives.

And one last feature of this device is that when I arrived at my destination she congratulates me on a job well done.

Actually, I could never have done it without that helpful voice from the GPS.

It then began to dawn upon me. As a Christian, I have my own GPS network. It is called the Bible. Everything that the GPS did for me while traveling along the highway, the Bible does for me while traveling along life’s way.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV).

The Bible gives me everything I need to live for Him in this world.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is an award winning author and columnist living with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, Martha, in Ocala, FL. The church Web sites is www.whatafellowship.com. He would like to start a Bible class in the Corridor. Anyone who might be interested is asked to contact him via the church Web site.